September 22, 2014

The Unknown - Gimlet

Chris of the ABarAbove blog is this month's MxMo taskmaster and he has set us a really hard task: He wants us to try something we have never tried before. Or to quote from his announcement post:

Basically the idea is to try something new, an ingredient or technique that you’ve never had experience with before and create a cocktail around it… Use a spirit that you’ve never used before. It could be a base spirit, modifier or that Belgian Ale that rings in at 15% alcohol. Use an ingredient that has always captured your imagination in the supermarket. Maybe that weird looking fruit that you always walk by at Whole Foods, or that unusual looking vegetable that you can’t even pronounce. [or] Use a new technique that you’ve never tried, but have always wanted to. Have you been dying to make your own vermouth, amaro, or martini glass made completely out of flavored sugar.

I have chosen Rose's Lime cordial - an ingredient I have never mixed with, and I can't really say I have been daydreaming about it either.

However the lime cordial is part of the history of the Gimlet and so I secured a bottle of the light green stuff.

And then I chose Raymond Chandler to be my guide and use the ratio he heralds in The Long Goodbye: We sat in a corner of the bar at Victor's and drank gimlets. "They don't know how to make them here," he said. "What they call a gimlet is just some lime or lemon juice and gin with a dash of sugar and bitters. A real gimlet is half gin and half Rose's Lime Juice and nothing else. It beats martinis hollow."

I believe many would suggest mixing with Plymouth Gin for the cocktails connection to the British Navy and the curative mix of lime and gin that kept the sailors from getting scurvy. I chose a Sipsmith VJOP in stead for the generous amount of both juniper and alcohol - thinking that might even be a more authentic gin taste from way back when the mix of lime and gin did not have a fancy name and was not written up in cocktail books.

But I'm not sure if it is the 1:1 ratio or the choice of gin that let's this particular drink down - it's just not a nice taste. The decidedly synthetic taste from the lime cordial catches on the strong juniper flavor of the gin and leaves you with a taste of cough syrup and unwashed underwear.

So I think it's safe to say - I've bought my first and my last bottle of Rose's Lime.



3 comments:

  1. This looks delish! Check out our selects for Best Cocktails of 2014. Recipes Included:

    http://twilloryman.com/2014/06/19/best-cocktails-of-2014/
    http://twilloryman.com/2014/06/26/best-cocktails-of-2014-part-2/

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  2. The Gimlet is my most favourite cocktail. A little while ago, I did an experiment where I put Rose's Lime head to head with home made lime cordial in a Gimlet. My main question was: can Rose's Lime can be (responsibly) used in a Gimlet when in the midst of a North American lime shortage? The answer was a bit surprising, to say the least:
    http://girlwithflask.com/2014/04/27/save-the-gimlets-or-the-great-lime-shortage-how-to-deal/
    Great post!

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  3. We make our Gimlets at work as a gin/vodka Sour (fresh lime juice + simple). I have toyed with the idea of making our own cordial mix since it has to taste loads better than Rose's (not that we carry it at work although I have a 12 year old bottle at home) and more authentic than lime-simple. One recipe that used Rose's wasn't too bad as it was a minor ingredient: http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/2012/09/old-hall.html

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